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Mole team chosen for Cambridge's first cohousing scheme

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A UK-Swedish team featuring Mole Architects has been selected to design and deliver Cambridge’s first co-housing scheme

The practice is working with developer TOWNhus - a joint venture between British development company TOWN and Swedish housing manufacturer Trivselhus - on the 40-home, community-led project at Orchard Park.

The brief for the plot, known as K1, was set by Cambridge City Council and Cambridge Cohousing Limited.

According to the local authority, the appointment marks the latest step in a collaborative process which will see future residents help design and deliver ‘a new place that encourages community and supports a more sustainable way of living’.

The scheme features three terraces of houses and ‘paired’ flats, together with a low-rise block of flats. The homes will be manufactured from
Trivselhus’s timber panel system in Sweden before being assembled and finished on site.

Each home will be finished in a range of four different brick types, ‘chosen to complement each other and the local setting’.

Jonny Anstead, director of TOWN, said: ‘Cohousing has an important role to play in meeting housing needs in a new way - not only by helping people shape the places they live in, but also in reinstating the sense of community and neighbourliness that is often missing in new developments.’

Work is expected to start on site in February 2016.

Mole and TOWNhus proposals for plot K1 at Orchard Park, currently owned by Cambridge City Council

Mole and TOWNhus proposals for plot K1 at Orchard Park,

The architect’s view - Mole Architects’ Meredith Bowles

‘We were asked for a design that provided beautiful, simple homes that can be readily adapted and customised to meet the needs of their inhabitants. The dwellings will wear their passive design principles and Swedish timber build system lightly and look for the most part like a contemporary take on the traditional Cambridge terrace. The common house, on the other hand, will be a real one-off and a fitting centrepiece for this new community.’


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